Sunday, July 28, 2013

USTAD HOTEL - My feel

For a change, I am not going to comment on the story, cast or any technical details of the movie. This will be just how the movie happened and continue happening in me.

I tried sleeping little past midnight on my Saturday evening and after 5 minutes, opened my laptop to continue watching my recently hooked up series, '24'. Since Netflix had some problems, got reminded of some reviews on USTAD HOTEL and tried searching for that movie. Found and started watching. I do not know when was the last time I watched a movie on youtube without jumping over the songs or some slow scenes. But last night, I did. Never knew a bit of the story and was surprised with the some real stories connected at the end. It was 3 AM when I completed the movie. I closed my laptop and pulled over the blanket laying on my slides. My eyes were open for few mins and mind lost into thoughts. Closed my eyes and something rolled down from my eyes to touch my hands under the head. May be my mind was overflowing though my eyes?
I woke up in the morning and the first thing I need is a 'Suleimani', the mouth humms "Appangal Embadum" and mind still filled with lots of serious thoughts on my love, passion for life and food.
 
                                                                                (Photo: Wikipedia)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sweet SIXTEEN

"SIXTEEN" is not a post raving about the teenage. "SIXTEEN" is the only word that I have sent as message in the 7 - 8 telegrams that I would have sent in my life time of using Indian telegram service.

So this is my adieu post for the Indian Telegraph service. I personally cannot forget the piece of message in my father's diary quoting the exact message of the birth of my sister's birth that got navigated from Chennai to a small village near Kumbakonam on a rainy day in few hours, back in 1981. The shock and effect of a telegram that rattled by Grand ma when she lost her brother. While those remain as my childhood memories of a telegram, there is still half a dozen telegrams that we received on my sister's wedding at the marriage hall for which I happily gave Rs. 200 for the postman and the big lunch of the occasion.

 (Image Courtesy: Amul)

Going back to the title and the first line of the post, the only message that I have sent in all the telegrams I have ever sent across my school/college days was "SIXTEEN". We used to send greeting messages in telegram for weddings that happen out of station and if they are not so close to make a personal appearance. For those who do not know, the telegraph service had short code numbers for various standard messages. My father had a small paper cutting of all the short codes in the first page of his address book (which is actually a bound diary unlike the the icon in our mobile phones). "SIXTEEN" translates to "May Heaven’s Choicest Blessings be showered on the young couple". This helps you save a lot of time for the sender and the employee. The "Grams" section in the wedding invitations are already replaced with mobile numbers and email addresses.

For sure any one from the interiors of India and anyone 40+ will sure be missing "Telegrams" in India.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The (He)Art Institute of Chicago



The Art Institute of Chicago - There is a 120 years old connection between this place and a lot of Indians. Swami Vivekananda spoke in the International Parliament of religions, talking about the pride of India and Hinduism across to the west. I am not going to talk about an event that most Indians know. I am going to write here about a very thought provoking experience that I had while visiting this place.



The plan to visit Chicago over the long weekend was just made 3 weeks before. Chose to take train, opted for a cheap hostel in the middle of the city instead of an expensive Hotel or Motel outside the city. My transportation during the entire 3 days was just a 20$ CTA pass and lots of walking. Planning on sightseeing, I acquired a CityPASS for Chicago that offers me discounted entries to 5 important attractions in the City. “The Art Institute of Chicago” came as an option to choose alongside the Adler Planetarium. After missing on my schedule to continuously for 2 days to make up to the Planetarium, was taking a second look at the suggested attractions near the Michigan Avenue on my Trip Advisor – Chicago App. #1 of 595 places to see in Chicago was “The Art institute of Chicago”. Planned it as the first thing the next morning and joined the long queue 40 mins before the institute was open for public. While waiting in the queue, a visitor guide came along and suggested that I can download the institute’s Android app to plan my tour inside.

Being an early bird has its own benefits as I got my free Audio guide equipment which otherwise costs 7$. While I still have some unanswered questions on how most of these exhibits are available in Chicago from across the world, the wide range beats my previous experiences of similar exhibits in Tanjore museum or the Egmore museum. Apart from the Saraswati and Mahaveer statues from North India, there were some exhibits from the excavations in Tamilnadu like that of the Ardhanareeswarar and Dhakshinamoorthy. The historical learning and audio commentary on some of the art works were so intriguing and raised by hair so many times.


The Chinese and Japanese artworks went deep as Pre-Buddha and Post-Buddha eras on their clay utensils and architectures. The Greek depiction of minute stone works for various art on the walls should have been the fore father of modern day collage art. If one has to predict the level of beauty by just studying the art and architecture across the world, I would rate that Greek men and women must have been the most beautiful looking at their marble bust.


Setting aside the appreciation of the art and history of Japan, India, Indonesia, Greece, Egypt and France, there were few exhibits that arouse some emotional connect and boundless questions. These were the exhibits from Africa and Native Americans. Digging deep into the history of the Americas in the last 400 years, it is the sweat of one and the blood of another on which the foundation of the skyscrapers were laid on. The story of the blood and sweat were associated with the transformation of the art and crafts from these areas. These people were wearing the most decorated pieces of art on themselves while the others were putting it on the pots and architecture. Still have some deep questions and anger on how many artisans were caught, cuffed and shipped to just do plantation around the clock. It is still believed that they were the one who brought most of the technology of working with metals from the forests of Africa to the yesteryear Americas.



A special collection of Art works by various artists from Europe on nudity was indeed thought provoking. Most artists appreciate nudity as art beyond vulgarity. But most of the items in this collection went a step beyond depicting humanity and culture beyond flesh.
 
There was a big crowd of members of the Art institute on this day to watch another special collection on “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity” all the way from France. These were series of oil paintings on Canvas by a bunch of artists from the 18th and 19th century of France. Some of the best art works I have ever seen and probably the best of the life size portrait painters of that era. Photography was not allowed in this exhibit and the art works were accompanied by the actual props/apparels used by the models of these paintings. I spent a lot of time taking a close look at the hue distribution and color shadings being a keen learner of arts myself.


The next time I happen to have a transit though Chicago for more than 5 hours, I might just take a bus to this place to spend a couple of hours more. If you are a true seeker of art in life and life in art, it is THE PLACE!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A to Z - Thank you!!

An attempt that tried to turn a lazy blogger into a regular blogger!! On March 30, when I signed up, I was only 10% confident that I will see through the 30 days/ 26 alphabets challenge. But it was a very long time since I started something good and continued it for over a week.




How did the idea roll out?

Day -1: Thinking about various themes that I could pick for my blogging series. Initially thought of writing about various fitness concepts and their pros/cons.

Day 0: Was referring some book on yoga given by a yoga friend and decided to just stick to yoga and even kicked the idea of getting some soft clay to make a human figure/stick man do various asanas one by one and started listing all the asana names for A to Z. Left F, I, O, Q, W, X and Z blank in my list.

Day 1: The incredibly lazy fellow in me forgot about the soft clay and landed up unrolling by sketching pencils to see off the first day making a simple human figure.

Day 2: After being on some good mood, felt like making something goofy and came up with the idea of snake for Bhujangasana.

Day 3 onwards: In order to keep up with the innovation on Day 2, started off with some crazy idea every day. But some of the asana poistures were complicated that many did not interpret the pose correctly depending on the complex implementation I had. It also depends on the mood at which I start the work to get a simple/funny/complicated interpretation of an asana.

Overwhelming support:

Since around a dozen of bloggers in The Chennai Bloggers club and nearly 2000 bloggers around the world started off this challenge in April 1, 2013. I was worried about the visitors to my blog initially since people will be busy writing their own and reading hundreds of blog over the month. But even before the challenge started, I was determined to save time for the readers and thus came up with the image idea. Wanted to keep the reach far and wide and the sketch that I made everyday was also available in the AtoZ album of my facebook profile. There were lot of encouraging support and lot of personal messages urging me to make a calendar, book, e-book, wall portrait and lot of out of these sketches. I started from 0 and ended up with 8 followers on the list only during this challenge! 2 of them even nominated me for Leibster awards that I am yet to accept!

What next?

Though I have taken masks of different identities over the last 25 years, based on the different interests that I pursued, the first prominent identity used to be my urge towards arts while being at school and college. Used to sketch late nights during my lone stay as a paying guest in early days of Chennai life even after starting to work. It went on to hibernation for a long time and woke up once a while. Keeping the spark alive and turning it into a flame was tough. This challenge has managed to keep the flame alive for a worthy while. In order the sustain the flame and as a gift for my commitment to the A to Z challenge, ordered myself a shipment of some poster colors, brushes and pallette. Look forward towards the continuous support as I graduate from the Kindergarten of Black and White sketches to the elementary school of colors!!

You can follow all my art works in future in my arts blog, Rainbow by the night!

Z for "Zen pose" (Vajrasana)

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.


Vajrasana (Zen/Thunderbolt/Diamond pose) is good for people who are suffering from back ache. Meditation inn this pose is very relaxing. Sitting in this asana after having your food really speeds up the digestion process.
 
Read my earlier post on Y for Yoga Mudrasana

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

All posts for the A to Z challenge end today. One word "Thanks" will be too less. A separate note of thanks coming up tomorrow!!
 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y for "Yoga Mudrasana"

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.


Yoga Mudrasana is the perfect symbol of yoga, or union. One shall find this to be a very powerful practice for internalizing the consciousness. The spine is stretched, providing a great release of tension particularly in the lumbar and cervical areas, while at the same time providing a toning effect upon the spinal nerves. The intra-abdominal pressure gives a great massage to the abdominal organs and helps stimulate peristalsis, while the position of the hands locked behind the back helps to open up the chest and expand the breathing capacity.

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X for "Xtended side angle pose" (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.

 
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended side angle pose) improves balancing and digestion. Increases stamina and abdominal organs. This helps in stretching the shoulders, lungs, chest, spine and groins. It also helps strengthening the ankles and knees.
 
Read my earlier post on W for Warrior pose (Virabhadrasana)

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Friday, April 26, 2013

W for "Warrior pose" (Virabhadrasana)

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.



Virabhadrasana II (Warrior pose II) strengthens and stretches the legs, ankles and feet. It stretches your hips, groins and shoulders. While it opens your chest and lungs, builds stamina and concentration. For pregnant women, helps relieve backaches and improves circulation and respiration.
Read my earlier post on V for Vrikshasana

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V for "Vrikshasana"

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.

Vrikshasana (Tree pose) leaves one in a state of rejuvenation. It stretches the legs, back and arms while bringing balance and equilibrium to mind. While it makes the legs strong it also opens the hips.
Read my earlier post on U for Ushtrasana

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U for "Ushtrasana"

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.
 
 

Ushtrasana (Camel pose) stretches the quadriceps and reduces fat across the thighs. While it opens the hip and stretches the abdominal region, helps improving digestion. It loosens the vertebrae  and stimulates the endocrine glands.
 
Read my earlier post on T for Trikonasana

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T for "Trikonasana"

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.

Trikonasana (Triangle pose) improves the flexibility of the spine and corrects the alignment of the shoulders. While it relieves backache, gastritis, indigestion, acidity, flatulence, it massages and tones the pelvic organs, corrects the effects of a sedentary lifestyle
 
Read my earlier post on S for Sirsasana

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S for "Sirsasana"

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.

Sirsasana (Head stand) is called of the King of the asanas. This pose helps bringing core stability and balancing of the limbs. The blood flow to the brain is maximum and helps in holding up a stress free brain functionality.
Read my earlier post on R for Rajakapotasana

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R for "Rajakapotasana"

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.

Rajakapotasana (Royal pigeon pose) stretches the quadricepses and chest simultaneously. It also helps in crunching the spine stretching the ankles.

Read my earlier post on Q for Quad stretch (Natarajasana)

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q for "Quad stretch pose" (Natarajasana)

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images.

Natarajasana (Quad stretch pose/Lord of the dance pose) opens the ribs, hips and gives the best possible stretch for the quadricepses. It is also one of the best pose to increase balancing and stability.

Read my earlier post on P for Padmasana

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P for "Padmasana"

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images. 
 

Padmasana (Lotus pose) opens the hips, stretches the ankles and knees. One of the ideal pose for meditation and breathing practices while it helps in increasing awareness and concentration. While it helps in keeping up an erect spine, it eases menstrual discomfort as well. 

Read my earlier post on O for Open Chest.

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O for "Open Chest pose" (Matsyasana)

This blog post is written as part of A to Z Challenge. This involves the challenge of a blog post on a topic starting with an alphabet on each day through the entire month of April excluding Sundays starting from A to Z. My simple posts will be themed after Yoga postures with my own creations as images. 


Matsyasana (Fish pose/Open chest pose) stretches and stimulates the organs of digestive and respiratory systems. While it relieves tension is the neck, shoulders and the throat area, it also stretches the muscles of the hips and rips. This pose is proven to have therapeutic benefits for asthma, rounded shoulders and many respiratory disorders. 

Read my earlier post on N for Navasana.

Disclaimer: Yoga creates simple to complex impacts on the physical body. Make sure you consult your doctor and start the practice with a trained teacher.